Thursday, December 10, 2015

PA Environmental Council Opposes New Hurdles To Complying With Clean Power Plan In Budget Bill

The Senate and House Republicans added a provision to the Fiscal Code bill-- House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike) -- expanding the General Assembly’s review of any plan DEP develops to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Climate Rule.
DEP is now required to submit its plan for implementing EPA’s Clean Power Climate requirements to the General Assembly for approval 180, not 100 days before it is submitted to EPA as required by Act 175 of 2014.
PEC sent a letter to all members of the Senate urging them to remove the provision from the bill.  The text of the letter follows--
On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I am writing to convey our opposition to an amendment in fiscal code legislation (House Bill 1327; P.N. 2650) that expands the timeframe for legislative review of the Department of Environmental Protection’s (Department) implementation proposal for the Clean Power Plan.
As the General Assembly should know, failure to submit an implementation proposal by the prescribed deadline risks imposition of a federal plan. Subjecting the Department’s plan to expanded legislative review – legislative review which itself is not guided by any objective criteria – greatly magnifies that risk.
It is imperative that the Department be given sufficient ability to develop and timely submit a plan that meets federal requirements, and is tailored to the needs, challenges and opportunities of Pennsylvania.
PEC also remains opposed to use of the fiscal code and omnibus legislation to affect substantive environmental policy. It is against the public interest, and potentially unconstitutional.
We urge you to remove this provision from House Bill 1327.
John Walliser
Senior Vice President, Legal & Government Affairs
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Environmental Council. Click Here to sign up for regular updates from PEC.

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